We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
David Gordon Green, that poet of the cinema, is the last person you'd expect to find directing a Judd Apatow male-buddy comedy about two potheads who start a drug war. But he does such a good job, there's a danger he'll become in demand by mainstream Hollywood and tempted away from the greatness he showed in "George Washington" and "Undertow." (I can imagine his agent hiding this review from him.)
"Pineapple Express" has all the elements you'd expect from the genre: male bonding, immature sexual desires, verbal scatology, formidable drug abuse, fight scenes, gunfire, explosions. Yawn? Not this time. It's a quality movie even if the material is unworthy of the treatment. As a result, yes, it's a druggie comedy that made me laugh.
The heroes are a process server named Dale (Seth Rogen) and his drug dealer Saul (James Franco). Both are stoned in every single scene. Dale has a romance going with Angie (Amber Heard), who I hope is of legal age, although physical sex isn't necessarily involved. I think Dale is still at the age of emotional development where going all the way means asking a girl to go steady. Saul is even more pathetic, hiding in his apartment filled with electronic gizmos and merchandise.
Dale drops in on Saul one day to buy some weed, and Saul gives him a sample of a new product just imported by his connection. This is Pineapple Express, a blend of marijuana so sublime, he says, that even smoking it is a crime "like killing a unicorn." Dale gets high on the aroma alone. Floating away from Saul's after a hallucinatory conversation, he goes to serve a summons on Ted Jones (Gary Cole), the very man Saul gets his pot from.